Veteran actor Joe Mafela passed away on Saturday night following a road accident on the M1 North in Johannesburg.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the veteran’s nephew Anthony Mafela broke the news that his uncle Joe Mafela has passed on. Distraught about the unfortunate turn of events, Anthony added that Joe had plans to go on a cruise on Sunday and was really looking forward to it.
— Anthony Mafela (@zaaibooconcepts) March 19, 2017
The celebrated actor died at the age of 75. And though it looks like he died in the accident, the cause of death is still unclear. This is because he did not sustain any visible injury that could have led to his death.
Metro police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane confirmed that Mafela died at the scene of the accident.
“We can confirm that at 21:45 on M1 North between the Oxford and Houghton turn-offs there was an accident between a Ford Figo and a bakkie which took place in a construction zone. The Bakkie hit the Ford which caused damage to the left-hand side of the Ford Figo. The driver of the Figo [Mr Mafela] was declared fatal by paramedics on the scene. His fatal condition may have been a medical condition that was brought in during the accident but an investigation into this is now underway,” said Mamonyane.
In the wake of his death on Saturday night, colleagues, friends and the nation have remembered the massive contribution he made to the acting world.
While the Saftas were going on during the weekend, actor Luthuli Dlamini said the late actor was a light and inspiration not only in his art but also in his love for people.
“I am at the Saftas at the moment and the mood is sad and sombre. Nobody here can believe it and we are all still in shock. Everybody is sharing how Joe touched their lives and their art – so it is clear that he played a massive part in building the industry in South Africa,” he said.
Veteran actress Lillian Dube and close friend recounted Joe’s last moments.
“He just returned from a cruise with his wife and he wanted to show me his photos. His death was a shock and I am very sad but I am grateful that God gave SA a chance to see his talent,” Lillian said.
Other personalities and fans also paid their tribute to the fallen veteran;
Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa wrote;
“We are shocked and deeply saddened at the news of the passing of legendary Actor, Director & Musician ubaba Joe Mafela”.
— South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) March 19, 2017
My heart is shattered at the passing of uBab' Joe Mafela 💔I'm broken I can't even type 😭#RIPJoeMafela
— Minenhle Dlamini (@MinnieDlamini) March 19, 2017
— Kb Molopyane (@KbMolopyane) March 19, 2017
It is an honour to have lived in this man's era, Comedic GENIUS! Joe Mafela G.O.A.T pic.twitter.com/rzc7pIgxLj
— RR (@remza2009) March 19, 2017